WHAT IT IS
With Samantha, Cathy and Leo crammed into the back seat, Jaclyn drove them back to their vehicle and back to where Mauls and Johnsey lay unconscious. Not only was the horse missing , but the four pales of insecticide had also vanished. Loosing daylight, Jaden ordered the triad to remain in the cruiser while she radioed an ambulance and took a look around for the missing chemicals.
Long inky black shadows from a stand of evergreens stretched across a seldom used footpath leading to a catfish swamp. As the trees whispered the stories of their day in the dying seconds of the sunset, the horse too wanted to divulge the accounts drawn up and distributed. The cool air from the shadows surrounded the horse, he had never felt better, except, perhaps…and he then thought about a time and a place where neither the time or the place could be sucked out of its natural location in the universe and deposited into the arms of warlords and other legal criminals. He tried to walk softly, even over hard stone and uneven ground because he needed his footprints to bare witness to the soldiers occupying the future, he needed them to know it was not he who was causing them their anguish and pain.
Baines Wanescott walked the same path, and when he saw and recognized the horse as Leo Barnard’s, they walked back to the road and met up with the others.
WHAT IT IS NOT
Jill Deakins was not hurt, a little shaken, more at the sight of seeing her brother Jared than any minor accident might have caused. Jared eased his sister out of the open passenger window and they both sat on the ground, awkwardly but successfully avoiding one another. They both thought of it, not daily, but at least occasionally as they muddled along their unrecognizable journey that they were told would result in a life of some sweet satisfactions, some divine possibilities, some slice of what we mere creatures are looking for. They did not dwell on a brother and sister estranged, because this did not describe their reality, as their reality was more like drifting icebergs and fading aftershocks whose time and distance just dwindled away until unreliable memories filled in the gaps and spaces. It was not about love, or lack of it or too much of it or too little off it; it was about expectation and explanation and whose cruise ship approach to life would settle on the sea of convention. Jared’s voyage was not Jill’s, and long ago accepted that fact.
The setting sun revealed the translucent man’s clock was stuck at midnight, but yet he still breathed. He was surrounded by the ones he loved and the ones that loved him, and the faint glimmer of hope in his eyes grew stronger as Feather and No. 1 appeared among the shadows and out on to the road.